Rockfall Protection Engineering Research Center (RoPE)

The research centre performs experimental activities concerning the study, stabilisation and safety of rock faces, both by means of in situ surveys and by developing tests, analytical models and numerical analyses devoted to the study of protection and prevention works against rockfalls.

The development of innovative procedures for the analysis of rocky slopes, instability phenomena and their propagation, for hazard and risk analyses at different scales, and finally for the design of the works are the qualifying point of the laboratory's activities.

Among the other activities, particular attention focuses on to the evaluation of the efficiency of the existing protection works, to their maintenance, as well as to the analysis and sizing of rockfall barriers (net fences), embankments and drapery meshes.

Field survey and analyses

Field activities include the survey and geomechanical characterisation of rock faces, the identification of instability phenomena and elements at risk, the survey and assessment of existing protective works.

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Analyses, research and modelling activities

The remote research activities aim at developing methodologies for hazard and risk analyses with particular reference to rockfall, also by means of numerical propagation and trajectory analyses.

Analytical and numerical models are created for the study of block fragmentation, for the sizing of protection and prevention works according to the principle of structural reliability, for the evaluation of the durability of existing defence works and for their maintenance.

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- COCLA compasses: surveying instrument for determining the angle of inclination and dip of the planes, in accordance with Prof. Dr. Clar's method of measurement.

- Profilometer 30 cm: measuring instrument for quantifying the roughness of a surface

- Profilometer 10 cm: measuring instrument for quantifying the roughness of a surface

- GeoHammer L-type rock sclerometer: instrument for determining the compressive strength of rock material

- Equipment for tensile tests on bolts


Calculation codes and software

- Abaqus: finite element modelling software

- CloudCompare: 3D point cloud (and triangular mesh) processing software

- RAMMS: software for 3D trajectory analysis of rockfalls with a rigid body model

- Rockyfor3D: 3D rockfall trajectory analysis software with a hybrid model type

- RocScience Suite: software package for rockfall and slope stability analyses, 2D trajectory analyses for rockfall


Teaching and research laboratory


DIATI3 - Third floor


+39 0110907703

E-mail            ;


Daniele Peila - Manager

Maddalena Marchelli